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How to Make Essential Broth and Stock for Paella and More

chicken broth being made vegetables and onions and other ingredients on table

When it comes to cooking, many recipes, whether it is chicken or beef broth and stock, are often important ingredients. Broth and stock have the same goal, to infuse whatever recipe you are cooking with concentrated flavor. Water will not have the same effect. In fact, water can have the opposite effect of diluting the flavors of foods. Therefore, you typically salt water or including additional seasoning for the water in many recipes. For example, white rice can be cooked with water or with my favorite, chicken broth. While you salt the water for regular rice, you only need a tiny amount or none with chicken broth. The chicken broth itself will contain plenty of flavor and sodium.

What Are the Differences Between Broth and Stock?

Before moving on to make broth or stock, you must know the differences between the two. While they are similar, they are made in very different ways and are sometimes preferred over the other in certain recipes. Though they are sometimes used interchangeably, they are made from different parts. Typically, a broth is made from meat while a stock is made from bones. There are some minor differences because of this. For example, a broth is typically thinner but has a lot of flavor. Broths often incorporate vegetables in addition to meat, so you end up with a very flavorful product.

However, a stock is different because it uses bones. Bones, unlike meat, contains different fatty compounds that tend to thicken the liquid. After all, gelatin made from bones, so it makes sense that it would thicken the mix and make it more gelatinous compared to a broth. If you want to be precise with your recipe, using the right broth or stock can make all the difference. When making paella, you will want either but will probably adjust your seasoning amount and amount of liquid used. For stock, add more water later one to avoid the dish becoming too dry early on.

How to Make Chicken Broth

Chicken broth is not simply boiling chicken in water to extract the juices. It is a complex mix of flavors and spices from ingredients like carrots and onions. The process for making chicken broth is not all the difficult. However, it does not make a small amount of broth. This simple recipe makes a little over 1 gallon of chicken broth. The recipe for making chicken broth is simple and easy.

Chicken Broth Ingredients

chicken broth finished and strained.

Making broth is a simple but long process. While you won't have to do deal with a bunch of ingredients and dozens of cooking steps, it can still take up to 2 ½ hours. The ingredients you will need for this recipe are:

  • 1 ½ yellow onion, cut into quarters and peeled
  • 3 carrots, cut into halves
  • Couple of small black peppercorns
  • 1 gallon of water
  • 2 springs of parsley
  • A single bay leaf
  • 4 pounds of bone in chicken meat

Chicken Broth Cooking Instructions

Chicken broth is simple to cook. All you need is a pot that is large enough to contain about 1 ½ gallons of liquid to fit all your ingredients. You will also want a fat separator cup to avoid throwing away any broth. Simply add all your ingredients together and boil at a medium heat. Skim any fat off the top and use your fat separator cup to return any broth back to the mix. After about an hour and 15 minutes, you can remove the chicken from the broth and separate the meat from the bone. Then reintroduce the bones to the mix. You can save the chicken meat to make recipes like chicken salad. Cook for an additional hour 15 and strains to finish the broth.

How to Make Beef Broth

Beef broth is not very dissimilar to make chicken broth. The ingredients only differ slightly. What you will need to make homemade beef broth are:

Beef Broth Ingredients

  • 4 pounds of beef meat with bone like ribs
  • 2 sticks of celery cut in inch long pieces
  • 2 large unpeeled yellow onion, cut in half
  • Couple of whole black peppercorn seeds
  • 1 teaspoon of thyme and oregano
  • 1 gallon of water

Beef Broth Cooking Instructions

Making delicious broth does not need to be hassle and is typically easier than chicken broth. The primary reason for this is that beef has a much stronger flavor overall. This means you need fewer spices to make a good beef broth. Making beef broth is simple if you have 6 hours. All you need to do is add your vegetables and bones into a large stainless-steel pot with a cover or Dutch oven. Cook for about 15 minutes before adding your water and mixing all your ingredients together. Bring to a boil and lower heat to a simmer before covering. Skim off any fat. Check about every hour to ensure no fat builds up. After 6 hours, your broth should be done. Strain the broth to remove all vegetables, peppercorns, meat, bones, etc. to get a smooth, consistent beef broth.

How to Make Stock (Chicken or Beef)

Stock being made in pots with vegetables.

Stock differs slightly from broth in that it typically uses bones instead of meat with bones. While some stock recipe uses skin or leftover pieces of meat, you typically will use only bones instead of a whole chicken or bone-in meat beef shank. However, the process really does not change much between the two. Beyond flavor and slight differences in texture, broth and stock are nearly interchangeable. In many recipes, they are perfect substitutes for each other. For this recipe, we will only present a single way for making stock. Simply replace the beef bones with chicken bones and vice versa to get the specific stock you want.

Chicken or Beef Stock Ingredients

The ingredients listed are the same whether you are making chicken or beef stock. Interchange your bone types for a different type of stock. Though not initially made for pork, you can even make a pork broth with this recipe as well. The type of bone truly does not change the process all too much. All you need to make a stock is:

  • 4 pounds of your choice of bones (does not need to be clean with no meat on the bone)
  • Celery tops
  • 1 ½ large onions cut into quarters
  • Salt and pepper to taste (be conservative, avoid making too salty)
  • 2 carrots cut into quarters
  • Parsley
  • 1 gallon of water

Beef or Chicken Stock Cooking Instructions

When making stock, you want the flavor from the bones to take center stage in the flavor profile. However, you do not need to worry about ensuring all meat is off the bone. In fact, some recipes add additional pieces of meat. However, I feel that defeats the purpose of a good bone stock. What some consider bone broth is essentially just stock that uses some cuts of meat. True broth uses entire pieces of meat, like an entire chicken, rather than bones with a little of some boneless meat cuts thrown in. In short, bone broth and stock are the same thing.

All you must do to make stock is combine all your ingredients into a Dutch oven or pot with a lid and simmer for up to 6 hours. Just like with the previous recipes, you will want to skim off any fat that rises to the surface. After 6 hours, strain your ingredients out and you have a perfect stock. Cool and store in the refrigerator. Makes about 1 gallon of stock.

Eat Better, Live Happier with Machika

At Machika, we believe the kitchen is the gateway to a healthier and happier lifestyle. Your diet plays an important role in everything from your energy levels throughout the day to your mood. You can find more recipes and articles at Machika today to better your kitchen experience.

Maria Pérez machika writer author blurb. Cooking, kitchenware, cookware, recipes, paella.

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